St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Towards a Vision (2)

We had our second meeting yesterday on the topic Reaching out in Mission. I was very impressed, not to say excited, by the wealth of ideas and enthusiasm with which the topic was discussed. What is emerging is that this consultation process, whilst being a diocesan process, is having its effect at parish level, and so there was a warm welcome to the suggestion by one member that there should be a further meeting or even more than one, to take some of the ideas forward, so that they don't simply end up being part of a report on the Archbishop's desk.

Even if you haven't attended either of the previous meetings, I encourage you to come along to the third meeting next Thursday at 7.30pm at which we shall be considering the topic Facing the Future.

My thanks to John Barton for facilitating at the meeting and for managing to get the following summary on to one side of A4.

St. Simon Stock – South Ashford – Summary of Meetings

Reaching out in Mission - Moving beyond ourselves
Thursday 22nd March 2007

1. How do we reach out beyond the boundaries of our own parish community to believers and non-believers?
· Advertising – re Church and Mass and service times in press and leaflets in hotels, estate agents and homes.
· Local press - letters re Catholic point of view and articles on our activities.
· Parish Mission – knock on doors.
· Team of welcomers.
· Through existing and new parish organisations.
· Being friendly – to all, including our neighbours.
· Encouraging – schoolchildren and the young.

2. How do we bring the Good News to those without faith? How do we reach out in dialogue and collaboration to other Christians and to members of other religions?
· Via Churches Together and World Day of Prayer.
· Local Radio – slot for Parish Priest.
· Ecumenical services – and invite non Catholics to attend Mass and other services.
· Mothers Prayers.
· Our example – enthusiastically radiating our faith.
· School non-Catholic mothers – treating them with respect.

3. How could we enable our parish to become a more welcoming home?
· Parish party – and other welcoming gatherings for new parishioners every 6 months.
· Visiting – new parishioners and those in need.
· Befriend – older members of the community.
· Offer lifts – to people to come to Mass.
· Be more friendly.

4. Aware of the joys and sufferings both within our parish community and beyond it, how do we connect with those in greatest need?
· Closer contact – with charities e.g. Age Concern – to focus on groups in need.
· With young mothers etc - provide support.
· To youth.
· Lapsed Catholics – to return to their faith.
· Group of listeners – for those in need.
· Adopt a parish e.g. South India.

5. Areas for further development
· Further parish meetings after these three, to take matters further at parish level.
· Who are those in greatest need and how do we gain access to them?



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